Decolonization reading group (for everyone) – Fall 2020

Tuesdays at 7pm EST from September 15 to December 2020

Interested in educating yourself about what’s happening in our city? Been meaning to read Seven Fallen Feathers, but haven’t found the time? Here’s your chance! Join us for this season’s decolonization reading group where we will continue reading Tanya Talaga’s National Bestselling book and discuss its significance to Thunder Bay now and going forward. Tune in to one or to all sessions. No need to read the book ahead of time: we all read it out loud, together.

To get the most out of the discussion, it will help to have a copy of Talaga’s book to read along. An EBook is available too. If you have difficulty accessing this book for financial reasons, please email us at

For those who participated last season, we’ll be starting again from the beginning for new folks, but please join for the recap or a couple sessions in to jump back in where we left off. I’ll post our progress each week to help keep track of where we are in the book.

If you would like to participate, please fill in this Google form and we will send you a Zoom link by email:

Space is limited and preference will be given to members of the Thunder Bay community. Once again, RiVAL: the ReImagining Value Action Lab is pleased to host this reading group to discuss decolonization, racism, and related issues, this time every Tuesday evening over Zoom, facilitated by Dr. Adar Charlton (Ph.D. in Indigenous Literature). Everyone, from all backgrounds, who come with a good heart and open mind, is welcome to this event.

The ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) is a workshop for the radical imagination, social justice, and decolonization based at Lakehead University.

About the book (from the publisher): Seven Fallen Feathers Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City Tanya Talaga Winner, 2018 RBC Taylor Prize Winner, 2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Winner, First Nation Communities Read Indigenous Literature Award Finalist, 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist, 2017 Speaker’s Book Award Finalist, 2018 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction A Globe And Mail Top 100 Book A National Post 99 Best Book Of The Year In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied. More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities. A portion of each sale of Seven Fallen Feathers will go to the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund, set up in 1994 to financially assist Nishnawbe Aski Nation students’ studies in Thunder Bay and at post-secondary institutions. TANYA TALAGA is the acclaimed author of Seven Fallen Feathers, which was the winner of the RBC Taylor Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, and the First Nation Communities READ: Young Adult/Adult Award; a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and the BC National Award for Nonfiction; CBC’s Nonfiction Book of the Year, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and a national bestseller. Talaga was the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy, the 2018 CBC Massey Lecturer, and author of the national bestseller All Our Relations: Finding The Path Forward. For more than twenty years she has been a journalist at the Toronto Star and is now a columnist at the newspaper. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. Talaga is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor. Her great-grandfather, Russell Bowen, was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. Her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. Her mother was raised in Raith and Graham, Ontario. She lives in Toronto with her two teenage children.